Low-temperature transport properties of TaxN thin films (0.72 ≤ x ≤ 0.83)

Miroslav Očko, Sanja Žonja, G. L. Nelson, J. K. Freericks, Lei Yu, Nathan Newman

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5 Scopus citations


We report on low-temperature (4-320 K) transport properties of Ta xN thin films deposited on an amorphous SiO2 substrate. In this work, TaxN thin films were restricted to a narrow range of x: 0.72 ≤ x ≤ 0.83 yet show considerable and nonmonotonic variation of their transport properties with Ta concentration. This behaviour is consistent with a local minimum in the density of electronic states at the Fermi level, as calculated for the rock salt intermetallic Ta4N5, and a rigid band model for describing the transport. The temperature dependence of the resistivity is best fit to the unusual form exp(-T/T0). Interestingly enough, the fit parameter T0 correlates well with the temperature of the maximum of the corresponding thermopower. Both of these characteristics, the fit and the correlation with the thermopower, are consistent with the Jonson-Mahan many-body formalism for charge and thermal transport when one has a nontrivial temperature dependence of the chemical potential. At the lowest temperatures measured, we have also found that the resistivity and thermopower show signatures of electron-electron interactions. We discuss also our results in the light of some theories usually used for describing transport of thin films and to other experimental investigations that have been performed on Ta xN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number445405
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number44
StatePublished - Nov 10 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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